Lausanne: It’s on a meadow called “Rütli”, located on the shores of Lake Lucerne, that the Swiss Confederation was founded in 1291. The date refers to a historic alliance concluded by the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. This alliance was to become the focal point around which the Switzerland of today was built over the next 500 years. Men from these three cantons swore eternal allegiance to one another, promising mutual help and assistance. The alliance was mainly formed against the Habsburgs, who were striving to strengthen their position in the strategic region leading to the Gotthard Pass at the time.
August 1 is celebrated exclusively within the communities; a radio or television broadcast by the President of the Swiss Confederation is the only exception to this esteemed federal principle. Communal celebrations comprise solemn words spoken by a prominent public figure from political or cultural life, accompanied by a concert or choir, folklore presentations, and the community singing the national anthem. Wealthy communities or tourist offices may also sponsor a display of fireworks. Bonfires, mainly on hills and other elevated spots, commemorate the expulsion of foreign bailiffs in the fourteenth century, the news of which were spread in this manner in those days. Children carrying lighted paper lanterns roam the streets at night. Public and private buildings are decorated with national, cantonal, and community flags, and the bakers produce special bread rolls with a small Swiss flag on top.
At the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, in the region of Switzerland’s birthplace, we’ll be staging a series of performances, with troops in traditional costumes, flag-displays, alphorn players and folk music. 500 metres high above Lake Lucerne the scenery is stunning, with a grand Swiss panorama framed by mountain peaks.
Celebrate all things Swiss, most especially the beautiful scenery views presented in all its glory from the Burgenstock Resort. Cross the lake by the Bürgenstock Catamaran, rise up the mountainside by funicular and join the guests in the Piazza for a day of traditional celebration. Culinary Director Mike Wehrle promises speciality feasts to celebrate the occasion. Bring friends and family to dine poolside at The Oak Grill & Pool Terrace, where wild and local is woodfired and musical notes are on the air. Take a seat in the modernist cube of Spices Kitchen & Terrace for a four course Asian sharing menu. Brasserie Ritzcoffier presents Swiss National Day menu of classic French dishes, created with inimitable flair.